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Christian Legal Society calls on the United States Senate to Vote in Support of Life and Against Lethal Human Experimentation

Contact: Samuel B. Casey, tel. 703-642-1070 ext. 3201, 703-624-4092 (cell)

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- Just prior to their vote on three stem cell research bills this afternoon, Christian Legal Society (CLS) called on the Senate to vote in support of life and against lethal human experimentation by voting for S. 2754, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act, and S. 3504, the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act, and against H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.

Responding to a question regarding how to differentiate among the three bills, CLS’s Executive Director Sam Casey said: “It’s the fundamental difference between life for all and death by lethal human experimentation for the voiceless few.”

The Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act (S.2754) would fund efforts to derive and study cells which have the capabilities of embryonic stem cells but which are not obtained by destroying living human embryos. Casey said that CLS, “as a founding member of DO NO HARM, The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics (www.stemcellresearch.org), supports the ethical research permitted by this bill using stem cells from adult tissues and umbilical cord blood that have been shown to have the versatility or to be convertible to the versatility once thought to only exist in embryonic stem cells.” Casey noted from DO NO HARM’s research of the medical literature from around the world that it “remains absolutely true that adult stem cells have benefited patients suffering from at least 72 diseases and conditions, where patient improvement is documented by peer-reviewed scientific publications. It is a success that no one can truthfully claim for embryonic stem cells.”

The Fetus Farming Prohibition Act (S.3504) amends current federal law against abuses in the area of fetal tissue research. It would prevent the use of human fetal tissue (such as fetal stem cells) obtained by growing human embryos in a human or animal uterus in order to provide such tissue. Casey suggested that some state laws recently passed to encourage embryonic stem cell research, including one in New Jersey, could allow such “fetal farming” to harvest human body parts. He said, “CLS supports a national prohibition on such grotesque forms of lethal human experimentation for the same legal and moral reasons America has always prohibited the lethal experimentation on death row inmates. There simply is no right to do whatever research you want to do in this country.”

As regards H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Casey warned that the bill “violates a wise and fair decades-long policy against forcing taxpayers to support the destruction of early human life whether by abortion or by lethal human experimentation.” “Let’s face it,” said Casey, “this bill would nullify the Bush Administration’s wise policy of permitting federal funding only on pre-existing embryonic stem cell lines, and promote research using ‘new’ embryonic stem cell lines that can only be obtained by destroying countless living human embryos that are now ‘frozen and unchosen’ in IVF fertility clinics or creating such human embryos for research destruction. The idea of “disposable people” that this bill presumes and will propagate down a slippery slope towards eugenics and lethal human experimentation must be opposed now.”

CLS calls on the Senate to reject H.R. 810, and for President Bush to veto it if they don’t. Casey concluded by asking the Senate “to approve the first two bills that are respectful of both science and ethics, and reject H.R. 810 that is neither a necessary nor an ethical means to achieve the medical progress falsely promised for it. Taxpayers should not be made to foot the bill for such lethal human experimentation.”

Christian Legal Society, founded in 1961, is the national membership organization of Christian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students, as well as supportive laypeople with more than 3000 members in all fifty states and more than 1100 cities, organized into more than 30 affiliated attorney chapters or unaffiliated fellowships and 165 law student chapters and fellowships throughout the United States. Through its Law of Life Project, CLS supports ethical stem cell research and opposes the destructive human embryonic stem cell research.